Monday, May 31

Mary Edward Walker on Memorial Day

The last Monday in May is reserved and recognized by the United States as Memorial Day. Once called Decoration Day, it is on this day that we observe the men and women who died while in the military.

Women in history... Mary Edward Walker

Photo Credits
The only female to finish medical school in her class, she volunteered for the Union Army during the American Civil War. Working as an unpaid surgeon (because of being female) close to the front line then eventually receiving a "Contract Acting Assistant Surgeon (civilian)" she became the first female U.S. Army Surgeon. Captured by the Confederates and arrested as a spy she was eventually released. Dr. Mary Edward Walker was given the Medal of Honor by President Andrew Johnson. The first and only women to ever receive this highest of military medals, which was revoked for "unusual circumstances" two years before she died, but Mary refused to give it back and wore the medal until the day she died. (In 1977 the medal was reinstated by Jimmy Carter.)

Like many women who have made history, Mary Walker was devoted to women's rights.

This is just a snippet about Mary Walker. If you would like to learn more click here, here and here.


As a wife, daughter and grand daughter of soldiers who came home after servicing in the military I can not imagine the loss felt by those who take this day to remember family members. Saying I'm sorry most likely wouldn't begin to heal the hurt, but I am humbled by their sacrifice.

Across the lines, but still a proud American....

6 comments:

OneCraftyFox said...

Thanks for sharing this tidbit of history... I hope you had an amazing long weekend :)

Queenie Jeannie said...

This was beautiful Ann!! Thank you so much for sharing!

umeorigami said...

Thanks so much for sharing a little bit of American history with us today! Especially, as a recognition of the contributions of women that so often goes unstated. Happy Memorial Day!

Kristen said...

Oh wow!! I had never even heard of her!! This is so cool! I'm off to check out your links too!

My family members (at least back to grandparents) all have come home alive as well. Memorial Day sure makes you thankful for that as well. I'm so appreciative of the everyday freedoms I have because of our armed forces.

Laura Lynn said...

Awesome. Great post.
Thanks,
Laura

Mitzi said...

Very nice post. Loved the ending.